January 12, 2005

Not for the Faint of Heart

When I was twenty-one, I met the man I married. We dated for months and the time eventually came for me to take him home to meet my parents.

Actually, it was to meet my father because he had already briefly met my mother in passing when I took her to a LSU football game.

I warned him at the time that my father was a hard ass and he should be prepared for just about anything. I filled his head with story after story about what a SOB my father could really be.

It was a nice and cool fall morning when we drove to my childhood home from Baton Rouge. I was a nervous wreck.

When we arrived, my petite and very lady-like mother was in her old jeans and working clothes with a .22 rifle in one hand and a three foot machete trailing behind her.

As we stepped out of the vehicle, she walked up to my boyfriend and handed him the rifle and asked if he could shoot.

Dutifully, he said "Yes, ma'am" and looked at me quizzically.

I, in turn, looked dumbfounded at my mother. She smiled, leaned over, and whispered to me: "Do not show him up."

She then told my boyfriend to shoot two of the four white ducks she raised on the pond.

Specifically, she said to shoot two of the young ones and leave the old man alone. Apparently, she needed two to stuff for Thanksgiving and, by God, my mother insisted on fresh meat.

A crack shot, my boyfriend did as instructed and within minutes handed her two of the young white ducks.

On an old oak stump about four feet in diameter, she placed one of the ducks. With the machete she instantly dispatched one head from a body, hung it up to drain, and promptly did the same to the other.

With much efficiency of motion, she then dipped each duck in boiling water and within minutes had them both cleaned and gutted.

In awe, my boyfriend watched her work. He had even offered to clean the ducks for her, but she waved him off.

Within fifteen minutes of our arrival, all tasks had been completed.

As we began to walk into the house, my boyfriend shook his head, took my hand, and said dryly: "Can't wait to meet your dad."

Posted by Christina at January 12, 2005 10:49 PM

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